A Big Thank-you to Pet Food Express!

Every month of May Pet Food Express holds its annual Save a Kitten fundraiser to coincide with kitten season. Funds and/or supplies are delivered to local rescue groups, shelters, and humane societies to help them care for the kittens and mothers.

This year Pet Food Express awarded $896 from funds collected at local stores to PAHS in recognition of our efforts to rescue abandoned cats and kittens and provide spay-neuter fund and emergency veterinary care for injured and sick homeless cats and kittens. PAHS also gratefully accepts donations of cat food and supplies, which we then distribute where they are most needed. PAHS works with a large number of cat and kitten rescuers and rescue groups throughout the Bay Area.

We thank Pet Food Express for its kind generosity and for its recognition of our ongoing work.

Rescue’s the Theme at the Final Week of Little Veterinary School Summer Camp

The final week of Little Veterinary School Summer Camp for 2017 began on Monday, July 31, with an extended presentation about different kinds of animal rescue. PAHS education volunteer Patty Hurley and education manager Leonor Delgado were joined by Isabelle Knudde from Clorofil and Tracey Thurston from the Humane Society of the United States to teach the students about rescue efforts.

Following an introductory Q&A session with Patty and Leonor about the meaning of “humane” and short description of the differences between wild and domestic animals (farm animals and household pets), Isabelle began her discussion around ways in which farm animals can be our friends. She first focused on how intelligent domesticated pigs are—the campers watched a video in which a pig played a computer game and won repeatedly. The campers also learned about the kind of treatment and confinement pigs are forced to endure on factory farms when they are encased in cages that limit any freedom of movement. The camp director, Joseph Nkansah-Mahaney, then crawled into a cage of a similar size to demonstrate what it’s like for those pigs. Seeing their director “imprisoned” reinforced the concept of cruel confinement for the campers.

Isabelle then passed the baton to Tracey, who introduced her little dog Darby, a rescue from a South Korean dog meat farm. Campers watched a video that detailed Darby’s rescue and eventual re-homing with Tracey and her husband, also present for our session. The campers were able to interact with Darby, who was a bit nervous at having to meet so many new people all at once. The campers told us that they understood how Darby was feeling and explained why he was frightened.

Next, Isabelle resumed her discussion, focusing on the rescue of factory farm egg-laying hens. She used a video to show the campers how smart chickens are—one of her hens, Marjo, learned how to recognize and pick out the Queen of Hearts from a series of playing cards. Marjo was also at the session (housed in a large pen outside the camp classroom), and she readily welcomed the campers’ offers of treats and allowed them to pet her. Isabelle’s friend Sabine McDuff helped with this activity, and along with Isabelle, answered the campers’ questions about Marjo and chickens in general.

PAHS thanks all our wonderful participants in this very rich session—campers have learned so much! We have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to partner with Little Veterinary this summer and look forward to continue to work with this organization.

Jesse Visits Little Veterinary School Campers

Therapy dog Jesse came to Little Veterinary School Summer Camp at Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto on Monday, July 24, accompanied by his person Chris Witzel. Jesse is a comfort dog who visits homebound seniors and people who are hospitalized or are in assisted living facilities. He’s also been a valuable volunteer in PAHS’ education programs.

After learning about extending kindness to our pets and using best practices in caring for them, the campers were introduced to the ways dogs help us as service and therapy animals. They were very happy to get to know Jesse, and the feeling was mutual.

PAHS will be at one more session of this camp on Monday, July 31. Our area of discussion will be kindness to domestic and farm animals and rescue of these animals.

PAHS Makes a Stop at Fat Kitty City

Because PAHS comes to the aid of many feral and abandoned cats and our organization is always interested in developments in helping such cats, Leonor Delgado, the education manager, and Reine Flexer, the volunteer coordinator for cat issues and a longtime education volunteer, made a brief stop at Fat Kitty City on Thursday, July 20. Fat Kitty City is a cat sanctuary in El Dorado Hills that cares for these very kinds of cats that PAHS helps as well as offers opportunities for adoption and volunteering. Resident cats are housed indoors as well as outside and receive all the amenities as well as regularly scheduled veterinary care.

We would like to thank the volunteers who most graciously received us as well as those cats who very nearly adopted us. Ours was a most enlightening visit!

Ani and Friends at the July Alex and Ani Fundraiser

Shoppers at Alex and Ani, an eco-friendly jewelry store in the Stanford Shopping Center, exchanged greetings with Ani and her new friend Bella at the store’s fundraising event for PAHS the evening of Tuesday, July 18. Ani is one of PAHS’ PAWS 2 PAHS canine volunteers and usually visits schools, after-school programs, and senior assisted living facilities, accompanied by her person Sarah Clementson. Bella and her caretaker Lucy Madaffari who owns Tails Up Pet Care, a local pet-sitting service, have helped us at several past events. Both dogs are rescues, and both are extremely gentle and friendly older girls who very much enjoy meeting new people.

In the photo, from left to right, are Lucy, Bella, Sarah, and Ani, greeting customers and showing them the way to the treats table!

PAHS thanks the staff of Alex and Ani—especially Genia—for their ongoing support of our mission through fundraising events and Ani and Bella and their people for their invaluable service as volunteers for us.

Sonoma Goes to Little Veterinary School Summer Camp!

On Monday, July 17, Sonoma accompanied his person Dorothy Fletcher on a visit to Little Veterinary School Summer Camp held at Escondido Elementary on the Stanford University campus. Sonoma is an 11-year old mobility service dog from CCI (Canine Companions for Independence), and he helps Dorothy at home and in the greater community.

Dorothy and Sonoma showed the campers some of the many tasks he performs to make life easier for her—picking up items she has dropped, sitting on command, accompanying her as she moves around, and retrieving his leash. Dorothy explained that Sonoma has also been trained to open doors and press elevator buttons. The campers learned about the best way to behave around a working service dog and the safest way to meet and greet a new dog. They had many questions for Dorothy about service dogs in general and Sonoma in particular.

As for Sonoma, he was very happy to meet so many new admirers! He gave doggy kisses in response to gentle pets, held out a paw for handshakes, and let everyone know how much he enjoys belly rubs. There’s Sonoma on the left, waiting for a belly rub!

There will be two additional Palo Alto-based summer camps—one for the week of July 24, and one for the week of July 31. PAHS will be in attendance to introduce the campers to service dogs the week of July 24 and rescued dogs and farm animals the week of July 31. These camps will be held at Cubberley Community Center.

PAHS 2017 Legacy Circle Event

On Wednesday, June 28, PAHS staff and Board of Directors, along with donors and dedicated volunteers, joined together at our Legacy Circle event. Each year at the Legacy Circle gathering PAHS inducts new legacy donors into the Circle and recognizes an outstanding volunteer. The Palo Alto Sheraton most graciously provided the beautiful setting and refreshments for the 2017 event.

This year PAHS presented our first award for Youth Volunteer of the Year to Kristen Benz of Fremont. Kristin, who will begin pre-veterinary studies at Cal Poly this fall, contributed greatly to our education program with PACC (Pets: Adoption, Care, and Commitment), a series of videos that teach about the ongoing and lifelong responsibilities of pet care. The videos form a complete guide to understanding how best to care for our pets and reflect Kristen’s deep-seated interest and growing expertise in veterinary issues.

Our Volunteer of the Year award went to Patty Hurley. Patty is a lifelong teacher and advocate for special needs students. She has incorporated in our classroom and after-school presentations activities that build awareness of ways to be kind to others and reject acts of bullying and exclusion, promoting the idea of inclusion of all and an understanding that such inclusion is the basis for humane, or kind, behavior. Her ideas and her Q&A direct style of teaching enthusiastically draw students of all ages into the process of understanding what it means to be humane.

PAHS’ latest inductees into the Legacy Circle are David and Maureen Allen, former Palo Alto residents. David is a computer software engineer, and Maureen, a former teacher and political staffer, was on the PAHS Board of Directors. She was the driving force behind ACR 144, the State Assembly Concurrent Resolution on Humane Education and Character Education that in 2016 passed both houses of the California State Legislature. Maureen was also an education volunteer. For years her dog Rookie, now retired, was the “face” of PAHS’ sessions about dog care and dog safety. Many former and current students fondly remember Rookie and ask about him. Maureen currently serves on the PAHS Board of Advisors.

This Legacy Circle celebration also marked the introduction of the Daisy Fund. Named after Sue Klapholz’ dog Daisy, an adopted shelter dog who has already passed on, the fund will help underwrite emergency veterinary care to the pets of local low-income residents. PAHS’ attention to the needs of this population is unique on the Peninsula and in the Bay Area. Through the kind of safety net guaranteed by the Daisy Fund, PAHS will enable people who might not be able to do so otherwise to keep their pets and give them necessary veterinary care. Sue Klapholz is a longtime friend of PAHS who has participated in many of our past endeavors. We are grateful to Sue for her kind generosity to animals and her commitment to them and to us in our goal of helping as many underserved animals and their people as we can.

PAHS Visits East Palo Alto Head Start Site

PAHS has continued to partner with San Mateo County Head Start, and on June 14 Education Manager Leonor Delgado finished a series of three storytelling sessions at one of the organization’s East Palo Alto sites. Preschoolers had the opportunity to listen to several stories about animals. They best liked a bilingual book called Animal Talk (see the photo on the left).

PAHS also donated school supplies including drawing paper, classroom decorations, and stickers to the site. We especially thank teachers Michelle and María for the opportunity to work with the students and get to know them.

PAHS Partners with Little Veterinary School Summer Camp

On Monday, June 12, PAHS joined Little Veterinary School Summer Camp in its first meeting of the summer to introduce students to the concepts of kindness and humane behavior and care for others, our environment and the wildlife in it, and our pet animals. Camp sessions are held locally in Palo Alto (venues are Escondido Elementary and Cubberley Community Center). Campers range in age from pre-K to grade 5, and their driving interest is to learn about and interact with animals. They are exposed to the work veterinaries do and receive lab coats, journals, and stuffed animals. They also participate in sports activities. Each camp session lasts a week.

PAHS has continued to take part in the camp, joining in again on Monday, June 26, and we will contribute at the July 17, 24, and 31 sessions. The June 12 and 26 sessions featured presentations by PAHS Education Advisor Patty Hurley and Education Manager Leonor Delgado, followed by a screening of It’s a Dog’s Day and a discussion led by Chris Corvetti from Grassroots Ecology.

Chris’s dog Rin, rescued in Mongolia as a puppy when Chris was teaching for the Peace Corps, was definitely the “star of the show” for all the campers, making the rounds and stopping at each camper’s seat for petting and affection. In addition to learning all about Rin, the campers were exposed to what it is like to live and work in Mongolia.

If you are interested in sending your children to the camp, click the link in the first sentence to learn more about the program and related activities. We’d love to meet your children there!